Looking For Feedback On Prototypes For My “Hot Stove” Set

Topps released a preview of their 2015 set the other day, and yesterday Jim over at The Phillies Room released a preview of his 2015 Chachi set, so I thought I might get in on the action as well.

For those of you who have not followed this blog through prior offseasons, I’ve been doing a custom set I call “TSR Hot Stove”.  The general idea is to show guys “photoshopped” into new uniforms and the like, while giving me the opportunity to flex some creative muscles and play with my Paint Shop Pro software.

If you’re curious about the prior sets, go up to the top, click on the “Galleries Of Custom Cards” tab, and scroll down to see the 2013/14 set (which was based on 1959 Bazooka) and scroll down even further to see the 2012/13 set (which was based on 1960-1962 Bazooka).

I like the idea of using a vintage “oddball” set for the design, but I don’t really care as much for the other vintage Bazooka designs.  As a result, I’d been toying with using the design from 1974 Kellogg’s for my 2014/15 Hot Stove set.

1974 Kelloggs Felix Millan

The one thing I wasn’t thrilled about was the lack of team identification, and also the fact that it shows only the player’s last name (something I’ve never cared for).

To see what I might be able to do with this, I first made a Bartolo Colon prototype without changing things a whole lot… sort of a “proof of concept”  Here’s what I got.
2014 Hot Stove Prototype 1
The only thing I changed from the original design was altering the text at top to read “2-D SUPER STARS”, just to acknowledge the fact that I’m not quite good enough at this to completely simulate the lenticular “3-D” effect.

I was pretty happy with that custom, so I went back later and decided to expand the box the name goes in, and add in the first name in a smaller font, kind of like Topps did in their 1974 set.

Just for fun and to give myself and all of you an idea of what this might look like “in production”, I went and looked at a list of prospective free agents, picked one of the bigger names and made a not-unreasonable guess as to where he’d end up.

Here’s the second prototype:
2014 Hot Stove Prototype 2

To fit the full name in, I made the box slightly taller, but I doubt that one could even tell without measuring.

So… what do you think?  Are you OK with the liberties I’ve taken, or do you prefer that I stay faithful to the original?  I’ll be honest, I’m still going back and forth on that.

But what’s more important right now is “Would you want to see more of these from November through February?”  I hope so, because as of right now I don’t have a “Plan B”.



15 thoughts on “Looking For Feedback On Prototypes For My “Hot Stove” Set

  1. I think I may end up liking the 2015 Topps cards. Lately every year looks the same to me. As far as your’s go I like the first name version. Good job on the Yankees cap.

    • Thanks for the feedback, at the moment I’m leaning towards keeping things traditional… but check back with me in 10 minutes, I’ll be leaning the other way.

      I surprised myself with Hanley’s cap… I did something of a rush job, but it turned out pretty well. It helped that I found a photo of a Yankee who had his head in more or less the same position, so I could “borrow” his cap logo.

  2. I like ‘last name only’ on these. Which is odd because on the A&Gs it seems pretentious. Whichever way you go they look good.

  3. Excellent work. Your changes are great. I like the choice of changing it to say 2-D. Your humble reasoning (you’re more than good enough) aside, it’s a fact that these digital versions could be nothing but 2-D, no matter what you do to try and make it look 3-D. These certainly look 3-D-ish, as far as how those cards look when photographed.
    Extra points for using a Mets player ;)

    • For a fellow custom-maker, I’ll reveal some of my trade secrets… the ones I can can remember, anyway. I’ve been working on this for a couple of months.

      Both photos are posed “Photo day” images. The background is just a random ballpark image, but I softened the focus and turned the contrast down. When I had the whole card put together and merged all of the layers, I used a texture effect that Paint Shop Pro calls “Blinds”, and I set it to be very light gray and very narrow, so the effect is sort of like the lenticular plastic on a Kellogg’s card, but scarcely enough to be noticed.

      • …You know, now that I think about it, my Hot Stove cards wouldn’t normally come out until after the World Series, and I might be tempted to make some more “promo cards” to feature a handful of Mets, Orioles and other players I like, regardless of whether they’re on the move. I’ll have to give that some thought.

      • I’ve made a few of these (64ASG & 73NLCSgm3) and I did think to use the blinds effect, but I didn’t extend them to the border, which I should have. Having collected 3-D for a few years in the 70’s and having a few curl and peel on me, I should have known better. For the background I tried a motion blur, usually side to side. On the Capra/Borbon fight card I used 3 layers: top- no blur, 2nd-slight motion blur, & 3rd: more extreme motion blur. It kinda looks 3-D (after a shot of brandy- not included).

  4. Great job. Love the Kellogg’s selection and I think both versions look amazing. Although if I had to pick one, I’d go with last name only to keep it as authentic as possible.

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